Ohio’s annual deer hunting week ended yesterday and it began with 21,754 deer screened on Monday, November 29, the season opening day, according to the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division. Ohio. Over the past three years, hunters have captured an average of 13,349 deer on opening day.

The Ohio weather for this year’s opening day was perfect for deer hunting: mostly in partially sunny and cool temperatures. In 2020, during a snowy and rainy cannon fire, hunters captured 10,905 deer. In fact, the whole week was almost perfect deer hunting weather.

The top 10 counties for harvesting deer on the opening day of Ohio gun season are: Coshocton (850), Tuscarawas (729), Ashtabula (725), Knox (679), Muskingum ( 677), Holmes (650), Guernsey (642), Carroll (607), Licking (572) and Ashland (504). In 2020, Coshocton County also dominated the state on opening day with 356 deer captured. Locally, Morrow County registered 217 deer when it opened and Crawford County registered 191 with Richland County registered 414. All three counties were significantly higher than last year.

Ohio archery hunters captured 79,538 deer through Monday, November 29. Additionally, Ohio Youth Hunters tested 7,634 deer during Youth Gun Season 2021, Nov. 20-21.

The Ohio deer hunt has come a long way since the first rifle hunting season in 1943 when 168 deer were captured. Because Ohio is known as a quality deer hunting state, many hunters from out of state come here during the season. The top five states for purchasing a non-resident Ohio hunting license are: Pennsylvania (6,994 licenses sold), Michigan (4,801), West Virginia (3,595), North Carolina (3,050) and New York (3,009). Participation in the deer hunt remains high for all hunters, with 339,991 deer hunting licenses sold or issued until Sunday, November 28.

Ohio offers many more opportunities for hunters to chase deer. Gun season will reopen on December 18 and 19. The muzzleloading deer season runs from Saturday January 8 to Tuesday January 11, 2022. Bow hunting is open until Sunday February 6, 2022. Full details can be found in hunting regulations 2021- Ohio 22.

• Ohio hunters controlled 694 wild turkeys during the 2021 fall hunting season, according to the ODNR Wildlife Division. The 2021 fall season was open in 70 counties from Saturday October 9 through Sunday November 28.

The top 10 wild turkey counties captured during the fall 2021 hunting season are: Highland (29), Trumbull (29), Columbiana (27), Ashtabula (25), Stark (25), Coshocton (22 ), Tuscarawas (21), Guernsey (20), Clermont (19) and Knox (18).

The average harvest for the three previous fall seasons (2018, 2019 and 2020) is 1,079. In 2020, hunters captured 1,063 birds. The Wildlife Division issued 7,470 fall turkey hunting licenses in 2021. This is 21% below the three-year average (9,428 licenses).

• Waterfowl hunters continue to struggle as there are very few birds migrating across the state at the time of this writing. While the weather hasn’t been extreme yet, the local waters are now cold enough that little is needed to start freezing them. Clear Fork Reservoir was trying to make ice around my lures last Saturday.

Hopefully when the waters north of us start to freeze it will push some birds towards us, but I’m starting to worry about the overall number of duck populations. We just haven’t seen the number of birds we should see in the last four or five years. The southern Ohio area opens on December 11 and remains open until the end of January. Hopefully, they will be able to benefit more from a migration than the northern half of the state could.

Until next time, Happy Hunting and Happy Fishing!

Ken Parrott is an agricultural science teacher at Northmor High School.